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ashok kumar (Social Worker)     09 September 2014

Refusal of bank to provide the handbook of procedure

Refusal of bank to Provide the Handbook of Procedure

In a FIR registered under Section 420, 467, 468, 120B, etc regarding a case involving alleged forgery in Bank Documents, the Police as a part of the investigation, asks the Bank to provide the relevant rules, guidelines Handbook of Procedures regarding the method, process of obtaining of documents by borrowers. The Bank refuses saying that these are internal confidential guidelines which are confidential in nature.

Is the Bank’s stand good in Law?

Can the Bank refuse this information to the Police under the garb of confidentiality?

What is the remedy available with the Police in such a case?


 8 Replies

Rama chary Rachakonda (Secunderabad/Highcourt practice watsapp no.9989324294 )     10 September 2014

With the court order only police can gather such information from the Bankers.

Ashok, Advocate (Lawyer at Delhi)     10 September 2014

Once investigation is pending with police in a criminal case, the stand of confidentiality cannot be said to be valid if that particular document is relevant and necessary for the investigation of the case being taken to a logical end. If the bank does not cooperate, the police has sufficient powers to conduct search in the premises of the bank and seize the concerned procedure book, if necessary. Such search can be conducted after obtaining warrant from the court or in certain circumstances, even without obtaining warrant.



ashok kumar (Social Worker)     10 September 2014

Dear Ashokji

U have given the correct and detailed reply but can u help me with the relevant provisions in the CrPC which explicitly give the said powers to the Police which 

Ashok, Advocate (Lawyer at Delhi)     10 September 2014

Power of police to search without warrant from the court is given under Section 165 of Cr.P.C. if the search is required to be conducted within the area of the same police station. If the search is to be conducted without warrant from the court in another police station, then the power is under Section 166 Cr.P.C. Procedure for search is given under Section 100 Cr.P.C. Power of police to seize a property is given under Section 102 Cr.P.C. Power of the court to issue summons to produce a document is under Section 91 of Cr.P.C. And, search warrant is issued by the court to the police under Section 93 Cr.P.C. for search of a document, etc.

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     15 September 2014

Handbook of procedures and rules of bank held in their possession can be obtained from their head office too, if the police really want to know about the rules, they can very well contact the higher officials of the bank/regional office and can secure the information, the branch manager's refusal can be ignored.  The banking rules and procedures are not confidential that only the bank will be having it, the bank manager's refusal can be reported to their higher official by the police through their own proper channel.  The search procedures mentioned by learned advocate Mr.Ashok will not be applicable to this, neither send for u/s 91 is also applicable.  Simple thing is being made into a complicated one.

Ashok, Advocate (Lawyer at Delhi)     15 September 2014

@ T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate:


With great respect, I may clarify that the answer given by me was clearly based on the premise mentioned in the original query that “the bank” had refused to provide the handbook of procedure, and also on the premise that the bank had stated that it was a confidential document.


When the words “the bank” are used in the original query (and NOT the words “branch of the bank”), they would generally imply “the bank” as a whole. If the higher offices of the bank cooperate with police, then it cannot be said that “the bank” refused to provide the handbook. This is what a humble person like me with a little knowledge of law would understand. The answer is given in the context of the expressions used in the query.


Moreover, I had clearly mentioned that “If the bank does not cooperate, the police has sufficient powers…”. So, the second part of my statement would be operational ONLY IF “the bank” did not cooperate. Here again, “the bank” would mean the bank as a whole.


It may also be pointed out that in my reply, I had specifically mentioned that “…the stand of confidentiality cannot be said to be valid if that particular document is relevant and necessary for the investigation of the case …”. Thus, I had clearly mentioned that such handbook cannot be said to be confidential if it is required for the purposes of investigation into a criminal case.


Lastly, let me re-assure you with great respect that what I had written in the reply is on the basis also of my personal experience where the sections mentioned by me have been successfully used professionally.


Let me also re-assure the member who had asked the original question that the legal provisions quoted by me are FULLY applicable in the given circumstances.


Thus, it is clear that these legal provisions are to be used (as was clear from my first reply itself) in the extreme situation where it is presupposed that “the bank” has refused to cooperate in an ongoing investigation into a criminal case. If the bank had cooperated, it would remain a “simple” thing since in that case the bank would immediately provide its handbook for perusal by the police. But, by refusing to show its handbook by taking the stand of confidentiality, the bank has itself converted it into a “complicated thing” which then calls for proper exercise of the lawful powers vested in the police and the courts to take the investigation to its logical end.


Therefore, with great respect, let me submit humbly that it is not me who has converted the “simple” thing into a “complicated” thing, but it the bank itself which has done it by its wrongly advised conduct of refusing to provide the handbook.


I hope I have been able to clarify my answer. With regards.



T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     15 September 2014

Dear Learned Friend Mr. Ashok, my intention was neither to debate your opinion nor to hurt your feeling/sentiments.  Your opinion suit very much to the subsequent explanation given by you and in fact I was enlightened by your views your intention.  The interpretation by you and me is that I took the author to have mentioned about the Bank's branch official whereas you took the whole term as Bank.  In general, the bank will cooperate with the investigating agencies, but the author's contention the bank refused it on the said flimsy reason creates suspicion of the bank in  favor of some hidden agenda.

Well I reiterate that handbook of procedure or banking rules donot come under the category of documentary evidence to be sent for for  the purpose of trial.  This can be procured even without approaching the concerned bank, through other sources.

ashok kumar (Social Worker)     16 September 2014

Mr Ashok & Mr T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate

I thank u both for the light you have thrown

Obviously both of you are very correct !

I would liike to inform you that in the instant case it was "the Bank" as I said, which meant that Bank as a unit 

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